HOSTED BY QUEEN'S COLLEGE, THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE AND THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
- Presentation and Q&A
- Reception with light refreshments to follow
U of T alumni and friends are invited to a presentation on
The Medium is the Medicine - Stories and the Work of Reconciliation in Canada
Professor Pamela Klassen
Professor, Department for the Study of Religion, Faculty of Arts and Science
Vice-Dean, Undergraduate & International, Faculty of Arts and Science
University of Toronto
At a time when some governments have undertaken processes of apology, truth, and reconciliation for colonial violence and dispossession of Indigenous peoples, how can scholars in the humanities contribute to these imperfect gestures of repair? To hazard an answer to this question, Professor Klassen will reflect on her process of narrating the story of an early-twentieth-century Anglican missionary in the Pacific Northwest who, after years of doing the work of Christian colonial settlement on Indigenous land, came to think that telepathy was the solution to everything from class warfare to religious divisions. At the same time that he experimented his way to the unorthodox metaphysics of “radio mind”, Archbishop Frederick Du Vernet was condemning the abuses of the Canadian church-state residential school system, which forcibly took Indigenous children from their families in order to assimilate them to Christianity, the English language, and acceptance of the sovereignty of the Dominion of Canada. As state-sponsored historical retellings such the multi-volume report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools are met with both Indigenous critiques and racist backlash, what difference do stories of the past make for our possible futures?
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